Friday, February 24, 2017

The Art of Crash Landing by Melissa DeCarlo

Mattie Wallace has always been kind of a screw up, but this time she's really screwed up. Though she constantly thrives to not turn into her mother, Mattie can't help but see a strong resemblance to the mess of a mother she grew up with.

Broke, pregnant, and constantly fighting with her no good boyfriend, Mattie packs all of her possessions into six pillowcases, throws all of it into her ready-to-break-down car, and heads to visit her step-father whom she lovingly calls Queeg. Even now, long after Mattie's mom and Queeg have divorced and Mattie's mom has died, Queeg is the one Mattie goes to whenever she needs advice. Queeg, known for speaking in aphorisms, always tries to make Mattie see the silver lining. This time the silver lining is that Mattie is the sole heir to the estate of a grandmother that she's never met.

The catch? Mattie has to drive from the Florida panhandle to the small town of Gandy, Oklahoma to take care of the estate. Like any small town, Gandy is filled with peculiar characters. There's the local priest, who drinks too much, a staunchly old librarian, and so many busybodies Mattie can barely keep them straight. After spending some time in Gandy, Mattie realizes that her mother suddenly just vanished from the small town and nobody seems to know why. Realizing that she has no choice but to figure out the pieces to the puzzle of her mother's disappearance, Mattie realizes that this might be the way to save herself from the same downward spiral her mother faced.

Melissa DeCarlo's first book, The Art of Crash Landingwill grip you right from the start. Funny and poignant, this is a fast read that will make you laugh and make you think of all of those times as a teenager that you said you didn't want to turn out as your mother.